Carl St.Clair, conductor
Mary Wilson, soprano
Margaret Lattimore, alto
Pacific Chorale – John Alexander, artistic director
MAHLER: Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.
In Mahler’s Second Symphony, the composer ponders the question of life, death and transcendence and in so doing pens some of his most sublime music. Meditating on these questions required Mahler to compose the largest symphony ever known at that time—with massive instrumental and vocal forces, daring harmonic structure, and expansive length—all to astonishing effect. As the composer once said, "The term 'symphony' means creating a world with all the technical means available." This great masterpiece will be performed in celebration of John Alexander’s remarkable 45-year tenure as artistic director of Pacific Chorale.
Learn more about Mahler's Second and the guest artists in the program notes.
Soprano Mary Wilson is acknowledged as one of today's most exciting young artists. In consistent high demand on the concert stage, she has most recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Detroit Symphony, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Vocal Essence, and at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. She has frequently worked with conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Bernard Labadie, Martin Pearlman, Martin Haselböck, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Stern, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle and Leonard Slatkin. An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, especially Handel, she has appeared with Philharmonia Baroque, Musica Angelica, American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Casals Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival. With the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, she sang the world premiere of the song cycle “Songs Old and New” written especially for her by Ned Rorem.
On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro and Gilda in Rigoletto. She has created leading roles in North American and World premiere performances of Dove’s Flight, Glass’ Galileo Galilei and Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick dit L’Elephant Man.
An accomplished pianist, Wilson holds performance degrees from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and Washington University in St. Louis, Miss. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Memphis.
Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Margaret Lattimore has been praised for her “glorious instrument” and dubbed an “undisputed star...who has it all – looks, intelligence, musicianship, personality, technique and a voice of bewitching amber color,” by the Boston Globe. While she began her career singing the florid works of Handel, Rossini and Mozart, Lattimore expanded her repertoire in recent seasons to include the works of Mahler, Verdi and Wagner, making her one of the most versatile mezzo-sopranos performing today. This season, Lattimore sings Mrs. Patrick DeRocher in “Dead Man Walking” at New Orleans Opera, Bach’s B-minor Mass with Soli Deo Gloria under Maestro John Nelson, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with Riverside Choral Society, Johnstown Symphony’s annual Opera Gala and Verdi’s Requiem with Opera Grand Rapids.
Lattimore’s recent concert engagements include “Messiah” with the Philadelphia Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with the Houston Symphony, The Spoleto Festival, The Winter Park Bach Festival and The New Choral Society; Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” and Mozart’s Requiem with the Riverside Choral Society; “Berenice” with the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor in Eugene, Ore.; and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico and the Louisiana Philharmonic.
As a champion of contemporary works, new music has been central to Lattimore’s career, and she works with some the most gifted, accomplished and recognized American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries including: Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon, Nico Muhly, John Musto, Stephen Paulus, Daniel Kellogg and Lawrence Siegel. As a student at the Tanglewood Music Center, she began to nurture her love and commitment to contemporary music and was fortunate to work with composer John Harbison. This led to her starring as Jordan Baker in Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” at the Metropolitan Opera, singing his Four Psalms at Carnegie Hall and recording his “Due Libri” from Motetti di Montale for Koch International leading to her 2006 Grammy nomination.
Lattimore is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam and winner of the Eleanor McCollum Award from the Houston Grand Opera Studio, a Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation and the prestigious Vienna Award from the George London Foundation.
Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Under the inspired guidance of Artistic Director John Alexander, Pacific Chorale has infused an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence.
Pacific Chorale is composed of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego symphonies. John Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong, and collaborating with the London Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.